- Brand: CM Storm
- Model: Havoc Gaming Mouse
- RRP: £49.95 (At time of the review)
CM Storm, which is Cooler Masters gaming brand, have been producing products worthy of eSports gamers, casuals and even general users since they launched the CM Storm brand in 2008. With many different products available such as headsets, keyboards and even gaming cases, there is something for everybody. With an already huge product range including the fantastic Sirus 5.1 headset, the Quickfire mechanical keyboards and also the Scout 2 chassis, the range keeps on growing. In particular today I will be taking a look at their latest entrant into the gaming mouse market, the CM Storm Havoc. With many gaming mice on the market from many different brands, how will the Havoc compete? Let’s find out…
The CM Storm Havoc comes packed inside a black box, with a pretty big illustration of the Havoc on the front. It states the DPI ranges from 100-8200 DPI and is designed for professional gaming. The flames are a nice effect also and make the illustration stand out a little bit more, a sort of fiery evil awaits you kind of look.
Opening the front door to the packaging, which is held together with small Velcro tabs, you have a viewing window so you can see and even get a feel for the shape of the Havoc before purchasing. The inside card of the box is red, which is quite a nice in my opinion.
On the rear of the packaging, we have a detailed list of the Havocs specifications. There is also marketing info such as the website and the colour scheme of the rear fits in with the rest of the packaging.
Inside the box, other than the Havoc which I will get to next, we have a small instruction booklet and a warranty information leaflet.
Now let’s take a closer look at the Havoc…
The CM Storm Havoc has 8 fully programmable buttons, which make this mouse quite useful in a multitude of different games. It is fully black and as you can see here, there are 3 thumb buttons, a scroll wheel which is made from rubber and 2 buttons for fly switching the dpi.
A closer look at the side, you can see the rubberised thumb grip which is a nice feature and really do like seeing companies help make the most of grip. There is also a little LEDs which light up depending on what DPI setting you use.
On the underside of the Havoc, we have the laser which ranges from 100-8200dpi which is massive and slightly overkill but someone, somewhere would utilize the 8200dpi. There is also information regarding the model number and of course the Havocs serial number.
To demonstrate the LEDs on the CM Storm Havoc I have taken a couple of pictures demonstrating the Havoc at max brightness with 2 different colours (there are 7 colours in total). Here we have the red and yellow, although I must say the yellow does have a slight orange tinge to it.
Now let’s take a look at the software…
No software comes included in the box, but you can download the software via the CM Storm website. Installation of the driver was smooth and easy, just like any other programme or driver available. Here I have illustrated the 6 main menu screens where you can customize the CM Storm Havoc, which gives the mouse added versatility over just gaming alone.
The software is very well laid out and everything you could possibly want for customizing the buttons on your mouse and even macros, can be found with little to no effort. The software was stable and had no crashes or glitches, set every setting and when switching profiles it loaded instantly. Also have to mention the mouse carries on-board memory, so you can take your settings where-ever you want.
To keep testing consistent, for every mouse I review personally, I plan to use the same methodology when it comes to game choices etc. This keeps results fair and means I can express my personal opinions on a comparable level. My games of choice are no other than DOTA 2, which is a fantastic MMO style game where 2 teams of 5 champions battle it out in an arena. The other is Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 for some fast paced FPS action. To start with, I customized my profile via the CM Storm software, which was a pleasure to use and took little effort and next to no time.
Next I loaded DOTA 2 up and dived straight into a match. My first thoughts on the Havoc were just how comfortable it was, although there are no accessories to adjust the weight of the mouse, it felt great. The thumb grip was a nice addition as close games can cause my palm to sweat a little and it did a great job in keeping my hand firmly gripped to the Havoc. In terms of accuracy the Havoc is superb, with all the different DPI settings this mouse has, I had an abundance of options to choose from and every mouse click registered without a hitch.
Even after 4 hours game time, my hand wasn’t strained and adjusted to the Havoc very well. I mapped the thumb buttons to 2 of the main attacks and I was flying, I could have the majority of my commands on the mouse and it made my experience a very pleasant one. For Black Ops 2, it was a similar story. The on the fly DPI switching came in real handy when it came to being versatile.
Obviously this is a feature found on many gaming mice but it works, it just works. From sniping noobs from across the map, to aiming a crossbow to blow someone’s proverbial brains out, the mouse was up to the task and more importantly, it was very comfortable to use. The buttons just seemed to be in the right place for my hand, although this is just my personal opinion. Nuketown2012 was an especially fun map to play, although I got destroyed, that wasn’t due to the Havoc, but more my inability to run away from groups of enemy. I did pull off one hell of a sniper shot which I have to credit the Havoc for, oh and the Havoc is one hell of a comfortable mouse to boot.
Browsing and general tasks such as navigating the desktop was just like any other mouse, was seamless and effortless with no snags or mishaps. I did have to change the profile to accommodate browsing etc. although the default profile is more geared for general use. Overall the mouse seemed to work well and I can’t say this enough in my opinion, it’s comfortable to use!
After spending a considerable amount of time gaming with CM Storms latest gaming mouse, the Havoc, how do I feel about it? Did it live up to my expectations or did it fall short? Well to start with my overall feelings on the Havoc, I was very impressed and pleasantly surprised. The mouse was more than capable of everything I threw at it and would be happy to use this on a daily basis. Performance wise, the Havoc performed exceptionally well and was very comfortable which is down to its brilliant design and especially, the thumb grip (which was probably one of my favourite features). In DOTA 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the Havoc handled them brilliantly and I actually have nothing bad to say about it, probably a first for me! In terms of aesthetics and design, the Havoc shines in this aspect also.
It looks amazing and with the ability to choose the colour of the LED lighting (7 different colours to choose from) you can have a different colour for each day of the week. The all black exterior is also nice and sleek; you do have the option to turn the LED off completely, pulse or even rapid fire. It’s nice to see a mouse packed with so many different options and as I have mentioned numerous times, the thumb grip is superb and does its job as intended. The build quality is solid and I would have no fears that pieces of the mouse would start falling off.
The clicks are solid and the Havoc never stumbled. The software is a joy to behold and compliments the Havoc perfectly, the thing I liked the most was the ability to tweak each of the preset DPI settings which was a huge plus point for me. The on-board memory of the mouse serves it purpose also as it means I can take the Havoc to a gaming cafe etc and keep my original settings without having to take the software with me. The lack of software in the box is slightly concerning but it is easily available to download on the CM Storm website.
Thinking about draw backs, it would have been nice if the Havoc had adjustable weights, given that it’s primarily targeted at gamer’s, but that is just my personal opinion. It is safe to say the CM Storm Havoc is well suited for gaming and suitably fits its gaming moniker. If you’re in the market for a solid, well priced and brilliantly designed gaming mouse, with oodles of features, a good software package and with customizable LEDs, then the CM Storm Havoc is the mouse for you.
With its sleek but great exterior and its equally solid build quality, it more than deserves the editor’s choice and performance award, so much now this is now my main weapon of choice. Great job CM Storm and look forward to seeing more products in the future.